A bench comprising Justice S P Wangdi and expert member Nagin Nanda issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, state government and others and sought their seeking replies in six weeks.
“Considering the facts and circumstances set out in the application and upon hearing the counsel for the applicant, we are satisfied that substantial question relating to environment arises in the case…,” the NGT said.
“In the meanwhile, the respondents shall file report with regard to the questions raised in the application at least one week before the next date with copies on the applicant,” the bench said.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by activist R K Singh alleging that the Jharkhand government and the Ministry of Environment and Forests have failed to declare the Saranda Sanctuary as eco-sensitive zone.
The plea contended that the Sanctuary consists of 126 compartments of five Reserve Forest Blocks and two Protected Forest Blocks in 31,468.25 hectares and have been included in the working plan for management of Saranda Division prepared during 1976-77 to 1995-1995. “The Sanctuary is also stated to find reference in the document titled “Conservation in India- Proceedings of the Special Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Indian Board for Wildlife” held in 1965,” the plea said.